Wales’ first Future Generations Commissioner takes up post
On Monday (1 February 2016) Sophie Howe takes up her post as Wales’ first statutory Future Generations Commissioner.
The establishment of the Commissioner, one of the first in the world, follows the National Assembly for Wales passing the Well-being of Future Generations Act last year.
Sophie Howe said: “For me, it’s a uniquely exciting, and slightly daunting, opportunity. For Wales, and for the people and organisations who campaigned for legislation, it’s another step towards creating a sustainable nation.
“This is a Wales in which we have a shared purpose to achieve a better and lasting quality of life for us all – the Wales we want. It’s a Wales where we work completely differently so we all make better decisions, transform services, tackle root problems and use scarce public money to maximum effect.
“We have to do things differently because we cannot carry on the way we currently live and work. The impact on public services of a growing older population, the pressures of climate change as seen most recently with flooding in parts of Wales, and the ongoing austerity agenda are just three of many reasons for doing things differently.”
The well-being duty placed on the Welsh Government, local councils, most NHS organisations, fire and rescue authorities, national parks and other all Wales public bodies, is set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act and comes into force on 1 April.
In addition to using the time between February and April to recruit staff and set up an office, Sophie Howe will be working on a formal response to the draft National Indicators published by the Welsh Government.
Sophie Howe said: “My role is to advise, promote and encourage sustainable ways of working. This is a huge task and I will need to focus on the areas where I can make the biggest difference. I am keen to hear what people working and living in organisations and communities across Wales think these priorities should be. I am planning to spend much of the summer out and about listening to people before publishing my plans in the autumn.”
Peter Davies, who has served as Commissioner for Sustainable Futures on a non-statutory basis since 2011, steps down from this role on Monday but will provide support to the transition until 1 April. He will remain Chair of the Climate Change Commission for Wales until the end of March 2016.
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